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17.08.2004 General News

I am lost for words - Nana Pra Agyensam VI

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Prestea (W/R), Aug. 17, GNA - Nana Pra Agyensam VI, a Member of Council of State, has expressed shock at the degree and extent of land degradation galamsey operations had caused at Prestea. He said: "I am shocked. I am lost for words."

Nana Pra Agyensam said this at Prestea after some Members of Council of State toured Bogoso Gold Limited (BGL), Bogoso and New Century Mine (NCM), Prestea, where an estimated 10,000-galamsey operators are living in squalid conditions.

Nana Agyensam said the Council of State would make recommendations to the Government to look at the alternative livelihood programme and make a decision.

He, however, said before the emergence of the large scale gold mining, the people were mining and, therefore, there was the need to find out if there were the possibility of granting them concession somewhere for them to carry on their activities in a controlled environment.

Nana Agyensam said the galamsey operators were unemployed "and we have to understand the social problems that are associated with their plight".

Meanwhile, he was impressed about the rehabilitation works and how BGL had tackled its social responsibilities adding; "sometimes one needs to travel to access things oneself to enhance one's knowledge and also enable one to pass responsible comments relating to mining operations".

Earlier in a presentation, Mr Richard Gray, Chief Operations Officer, Golden Star Resource Limited (GSRL), said so far nine million dollars had been sunk into Prestea underground mine for care, maintenance and exploration and on a successful completion, 500 job opportunities would be created.

He said GSRL would soon construct a processing plant at Bondaye, near Prestea and convert Bogoso Gold milling plant to BIOX plant to enable it treat sulphide ore.

Mr Gray was, however, expressed concern about encroachment by galamsey operators on their concession.

Mr Mark Collopy, General Manager, GBL, said the mine was responsible and would ensure that value added facilities were left behind.

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